South Portland School Board: 3 seats go uncontested

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SOUTH PORTLAND — There are three School Board seats to fill on the Nov. 2 ballot. All of them are uncontested.

Board Chairman Richard L. Carter, of Thompson Street, is running unopposed in District 1, which represents the east end, and Sarah Goldberg, of Pine Street, is the only candidate in District 2, the Knightville-Mill Creek area.

Although no candidate’s name is on the ballot for District 3, the Pleasantdale area, Boothby Avenue resident Richard Matthews has launched a formal write-in campaign for the seat.

Matthews, a 44-year-old, stay-at-home dad and lifelong city resident, said he decided to seek office so the city wouldn’t be forced to appoint someone to the position.

Jerald McQueeney, who was appointed in 2009 to replace Michael Eastman, who died, chose not run this year in District 3.

Questions were raised about the process for choosing Eastman’s successor, when the school superintendent, who serves at the board’s pleasure, played a central role in McQueeney’s appointment, which was approved without discussion by the City Council.

“I wasn’t sure who they were going to put in there,” Matthews said, emphasizing his respect for McQueeney and Eastman. “I wanted to make sure we have a strong voice in our community.”

Matthews, who has two children in public schools, is the co-president of the parent teacher organization at Brown Elementary School, and has coached youth soccer and volunteered for the hockey booster.

He is also an active member of the RenewSPHS political action committee that is promoting the $41.5 million high school bond on the November ballot.

“I hope my ideas and opinions strengthen the School Board,” he said.

Since Matthews has officially declared his candidacy, City Clerk Sue Mooney said voters only have to write in minimal information, such as his last name, to vote for him.

There is no minimum vote requirement, Mooney said; Matthews only has to receive the most votes for the District 3 seat to be elected.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net

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